20 Common Exercise Myths Debunked


Plenty of popular exercise misconceptions still exist, even in this day of enlightenment. People don’t talk about spot exercising anymore, but still believe in common exercise myths that should have been thrown out a long time ago. Here are a few of them, along with not-so-common facts based on current exercise research.

1. Sustained Low Intensity Exercise Burns More Fat

The most important factor that affects the burning of fat is how many calories are burned during the exercise. The faster you exercise, the more calories you burn per minute, guaranteeing greater loss of fat. However, high-intensity exercise is hard to sustain so start low, speed up and maintain regularity to ensure steady fat and weight loss.

2. Exercise Is A Waste Unless You Keep At It

Some people start an exercise program and then give up when they don’t maintain regularity. However, note that any exercise is better than none. Even regular walking, housecleaning and gardening for just an hour a week can offer heart benefits as opposed to no exercise.

3. Yoga Is A Safe Method To Exercise

Yoga is gentle, granted; however, it takes great flexibility, determination and skill to perform some of the yogic positions. Complex yogic postures are not considered safe to perform without qualified training.

4. Those Who Exercise Hard Will Get Results

We all want this wish to be true. However, the truth is, no matter how hard or long you exercise, you will lose only as much weight as your genes allow you to. Each person develops strength, speed and endurance differently and with different response rates to the same exercise.

5. Exercise Is The Surest Way To Lose Weight

How much weight you lose or gain depends on multiple factors such as your food intake, exercise patterns, genetics and your dedication. Exercise is important but cannot alone guarantee long-term weight loss.

6.   Strength Training Adds Bulk

Both cardiovascular exercise and strength training are recommended to maintain a healthy body weight. Strength training does not add bulk; rather, it builds and maintains muscle mass while decreasing body fat percentage.

7. Water Fitness Programs Are Not For Everyone

It has been shown that water fitness programs are beneficial for everyone and improve both fitness and weight loss.

8.     Yoga And Tai Chi Don’t Benefit Anyone

Both Tai Chi and Yoga have been shown to offer several benefits. Tai chi is used to treat fibromyalgia and low-back pain, while yoga has been used to treat posture problems, fertility issues, breathing allergies, and so on. Mind-body exercises offer increased balance, flexibility, coordination, uplifted posture, and enhanced strength and stress management.

9. Overweight People Benefit Less From Exercise

Regular physical activity has been shown to be beneficial to everyone, including overweight people. Obese people who exercise regularly enjoy lowered risk of obesity-linked diseases.

10. Gymming Is The Best Way To Get Fit

The best workout for you is the one that you will perform regularly. Therefore, it doesn’t matter whether you walk a treadmill at home, or go swimming or play a game of tennis, as long as you exercise regularly.

11. The Best Way To A Flat Tummy Is To Do Sit-ups

You need to first reduce tummy fat with a targeted diet and exercise program. If you have fat present on your belly, doing sit-ups will cause your belly to bulge.

12. Reading Will Keep You Occupied While Exercising

Reading or bending your head and shoulders to use your phone while exercising will only ruin your posture and increase your injury potential. While working out, listen to music or watch TV, without bending your body.

13. Weight Lifting Is For Bodybuilders

Both men and women should include weight and strength training as part of their workout regime to keep their bones and joints strong. Weight lifting is not just for body builders, but is a necessity for everyone.

14. Running Three Times A Week Ensures Complete Fitness

Running three times a week might keep you fit for running but your overall fitness level is assured only when you combine different types of activity. Include weight lifting, strength training and stretches to increase your flexibility and muscle tone.

15. One Loses More Weight With More Exercise

Exercising for more than the recommended maximum of 90 minutes causes the production of stress hormones in the body. These include adrenaline and cortisol which break down muscle tissue. Work out for the recommended period and then rest for a day for optimum results.

16. It’s Pointless To Do Stretches After Workout

Stretches are important both as for warm up and cool down before and after exercise. Post exercise stretching relaxes your muscles to the pre-exercise length, which keeps them from getting shorter over time.

17.           A Good Workout Should Leave Me Sore The Next Day

Muscle soreness is caused by tiny tears in the muscle fibers. Exercise does cause a certain amount of soreness but if you still feel sore after several days, you have likely overdone your exercise program. A good workout should leave you feeling pleasantly tired and a little sore in the initial stages.

18. It Is Necessary To Do Stretches Before Exercise

Stretches make muscles more susceptible to injury. Stretching lengthens muscles and destabilizes them, making them unready to handle exercise. It’s better to do light warm-ups like spot jogging before exercise, than serious stretching.

19. Exercise Converts Fat Into Muscle Tissue

Fat and muscle tissue are different and are composed of two entirely different types of cells. You can lose muscle and replace it with fat but you can never convert fat into muscle tissue. When you stop exercising, you lose the muscle you built over a period of time. The body gains fat and the space that was occupied by the muscle ends up holding the fat conveniently.

20. A Lot Of Sweating Indicates A Good Workout

The body sweats in order to cool itself. Some people sweat more than others do, depending on their genetic factors and inherent body heat levels. Sweating does not always indicate exertion. So the next time you workout and don’t sweat much, don’t think you haven’t done enough exercise.

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